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Robin. Since you did use a tripod, I now wonder what settings on the camera (assume you used the D50) you used to take the shots. Also, did you use a remote shutter release?
Many tripods have a hook at the base of the center column to which you can attach some sort of anchoring system (i.e., tie to a rock, cement block, sandbag, etc.). On a beach, you can even sink the legs a few inches into the sand to help anchor the tripod.
Fireworks shots a fun aren't they? I took quite a few on the 4th. Looks like you did the same :) But, you really need to get a tripod for those long exposure shots. A tripod will eliminate the wavy light trails on the fireworks shots.
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